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Daily & Latest Current Affairs in 2024

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Correct Answer : Option (D) - Microsoft

Microsoft has announced two new initiatives to guide India’s small and medium businesses (SMBs) on digital transformation projects and help them learn new technology and business skills. The initiatives include a SMB-focused website and a dedicated helpline number.

* The SMB-focused website will focus on improving networking opportunities for small business owners and entrepreneurs in India, enhance their skills and achieve holistic growth, the company said in a statement on Tuesday (2nd May 2023).

* Elaborating on the initiative, Microsoft said that the website offers a "rich" repository of skills, resources and tools to cater to every requirement of a business.

* It offers an SMB Academy that can help SMBs gain valuable digital skills and improve workforce productivity using Microsoft’s curated business and technology courses. 

* The website also offers varied Microsoft solutions that best address the needs of an organization, as well as easy access to Microsoft’s vast ecosystem of over 17,000 partners in the country.

* On the other hand, the helpline offers SMBs dedicated support to navigate their digital transformation journey seamlessly. The helpline provides expert guidance and assistance in leveraging technology solutions that best address their business challenges, improve operations, increase efficiency and drive growth.

* A study by Microsoft conducted in July last year shows that strong linkages of technology investments and adoption with business strategies, as well as close collaboration with partners are crucial factors for SMB success.

* Microsoft has been working closely with SMBs, giving them cloud technologies, specially designed solutions, skills and support, as well as multi-city experiential events such as TechMart, to help their digital transformation so they can thrive in today's digitally powered economy.  

* Samik Roy, Executive Director – Corporate Medium and Small Business, Microsoft India, said, “These new initiatives are aimed at further supporting these organizations and work closely with them so they can do more with less”. ..

Source : Tech Circle

Published On : May 4, 2023
$2.5 trillion
$2 trillion
$1.5 trillion
$1 trillion

Correct Answer : Option (C) - $1 trillion

Merchant payments on Unified Payments Interface (UPI) are expected to reach $1 trillion by FY26, driven by a growth rate of 40 to 50%, said Bain and Company in the Future of India Retail Payments report published on Thursday.

* The growth in merchant payments will be driven by increased awareness, growth in merchant acceptance of UPI, new payment features like UPI Lite and UPI 123 Pay along with opening up of international payment corridors on the domestic payment railroad.

* According to data from the National Payments Corporation of India, around $40 billion worth of merchant transactions were settled through UPI in March 2023 alone. So the sector is already hitting a $500 billion payment run rate.

* Overall, the share of UPI and mobile wallets in the $3.2 trillion digital payments pie is set to grow to 28% in FY26 from 11% in FY22. As all the digital payment modes including credit cards, debit cards and buy now, pay later grow, cash will go down to 48% compared to 69% in FY22.

* According to Bain & Company’s report, credit card spending in India is expected to increase 2.5 times to $280 billion by FY26 from a present level of roughly $100 billion.

* An increase in spending on newly issued credit cards will account for a significant portion of this gain. The Reserve Bank of India reports that there were 85 million credit cards in circulation as of March 2023.

* Tier-2 sites, new fintech and consumer tech partnerships for co-branded cards, and an overall opening up of supply will be the sources of growth in new credit cards.

Government Payments and Subsidies to Decrease, Premium Merchants May Pay Specific MDR for UPI Payments :

* Bain & Company has predicted that government payments and subsidies will decrease over the next three to five years, resulting in market forces controlling pricing for merchant payments.

* Premium merchants, for instance, may pay a specific Merchant Discount Rate (MDR) for UPI payments.

* Payment service providers will have developed alternative revenue streams by then. Providers like Razorpay, Cashfree, and Paytm, which were initially positioned as online payment providers, have all established their offline operations as well, providing their users with an omnichannel payment experience.

Fintech and Banks Must Adapt to Remain Competitive in India’s Fintech Era :

* As the fintech era progresses in India, banks themselves will need to adapt to remain competitive.

* Banks will need to investigate full-stack merchant solutions and increase the number of credit card holders by adding new consumers. The research advised “commercializing partnerships with a select group of non-banks to expand the reach and improve capabilities.”

* To hasten go-to-market, fintech themselves must develop compliance departments, increase income diversification, and fortify their relationships with banks and NBFCs...

Source : Economic Times

Published On : May 4, 2023

Correct Answer : Option (A) - Mumbai

More than two years after 35 men and a giant Chinese Tunnel Boring Machine began cutting though complex geological strata, India’s first undersea twin tunnels in south Mumbai are close to completion.

* Set to open in November 2023, the tunnels start near Girgaon (ahead of Marine Drive), extend north under the Arabian Sea, Girgaon Chowpatty and Malabar Hill, and end at Breach Candy’s Priyadarshini Park.

* The 2.07-km tunnels are a part of the Rs 12,721-crore Mumbai Coastal Road Project (MCRP) being built by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

* The 10.58-km MCRP links Marine Drive to the Bandra-Worli Sea Link and is just one part of the Coastal Road project.

* The high-speed coastal road aims to cut down the 45-minute commute from Girgaon to Worli during peak hours to just 10 minutes.

* The tunnel entry and exit points are designed to have fibreglass facades resembling the Queen's Necklace, a famous C-shaped promenade on Marine Drive.

* The tunnels have six cross passages, with four for pedestrians and two for motorists. Each tunnel has three lanes of 3.2 metres. According to Namkak Cho, a senior tunnel engineer at Yooshin Engineering Company, two lanes in each tunnel will be operational, and the third will be used in case of an emergency or if the vehicular density increases.

* The Mumbai Coastal Road Project's most significant feature is the use of the largest tunnel boring machine (TBM) ever in India, called Mavala.

* The TBM, which weighs more than 1,700 tonnes and stands nearly 12 meters tall, was manufactured by the China Railway Construction Heavy Industry Company Ltd (CRCHI).

* It was named in honour of Shivaji's warfare experts from the Koli and Kunbi communities. The TBM was assembled and launched a year ago, and the boring work started in January 2021. The tunnels are expected to open in November this year..

Source : Indian Express

Published On : May 4, 2023
May 2nd
May 3rd
May 4th
May 5th

Correct Answer : Option (C) - May 4th

Coal Miners Day is observed every year on May 4th to recognize and honour the tireless efforts and significant contribution of coal miners in extracting coal, which is one of the most important fossil fuels used for various purposes, including power generation and industrial production.

* Demand for coal is also increasing for its use in cement and steel manufacturing.

* Coal mining is a hazardous and strenuous task that involves digging, tunnelling, and extracting it from deep within the earth’s crust, making it one of the most challenging occupations.

* On Coal Miners Day, all coal miners are acknowledged and celebrated for their hard work, dedication, and perseverance in extracting coal to fuel the nation’s progress.

Coal Miners Day History : Although the first coal mine was opened in Scotland in 1575, India’s first coal mine was established much later in 1774. The Raniganj Coalfield, situated on the banks of the Damodar River, was the site of this mine, which was operated by John Summer and Suetonius Grant Heatly of the East India Company. After India gained independence, the country’s demand for coal increased, and the new government established a 5-year development plan to meet the growing demand for energy.

Coal Miners Day Significance :

* It’s important to recognise the sacrifice done by the workers who have lost their lives while performing their duties. This day is dedicated to honouring their contributions and remembering the tragedies that they have endured throughout their lives. Various awareness programs are conducted on this day to promote the health and safety needs of the workers.

* These programs aim to educate the workers about the various laws and regulations laid down by the Indian government to improve their working conditions and wages. This is done to ensure that the workers are aware of their rights and can work in a safe and healthy environment..

Source : News18

Published On : May 4, 2023
Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Tourism
Ministry of Finance
Ministry of Rural Development

Correct Answer : Option (B) - Ministry of Tourism

Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, is participating in the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2023, being ‘eld from 01st to 04th May 2023 in Dubai, UAE.

* The Arabian Travel Market is one of the leading global events for the travel and tourism industry, attracting visitors and exhibitors from around the world.

* India's participation in the Arabian Travel Market 2023 is a significant step towards promoting India as a preferred travel destination among the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) markets.

* With its diverse culture, heritage, cuisine, and natural beauty, Adventure, MICE, luxury, wildlife, wellness, India is a popular destination for travellers seeking unique and authentic experiences.

* Ministry of Tourism, is showcasing "Incredible India" and launched Visit India Year 2023 campaign at the event, highlighting India's diverse tourism offerings and the country's commitment to sustainable tourism practices. The India Pavilion will showcase India's rich cultural and natural heritage, including its UNESCO World Heritage Sites, wildlife sanctuaries, and spiritual destinations.

* The event will also provide an opportunity for the Ministry to strengthen ties with the Middle East and North Africa tourism industry, including travel agents, tour operators, airlines, and media representatives. The delegation will participate in various networking events, B2B meetings, and media interactions to promote India as a tourism destination and establish partnerships with industry stakeholders.

* India's participation in the Arabian Travel Market 2023 underscores the country's commitment to promoting tourism as a driver of economic growth and employment generation. Government of India remains committed to enhancing India's tourism infrastructure and promoting India as a world-class tourism destination.

* The India pavilion was inaugurated on 1st May at the Arabian Travel Mart 2023 Dubai by the Indian Ambassador to UAE, H.E. Sunjay Sudhir in presence of Shri Gyan Bhushan, Sr. Economic Advisor, Ministry of Tourism, GOI,  Shri K. Lakshminaryanan Kannan, Tourism Minister of Puducherry, Shri Rohan Khaunte, Tourism Minister of State Government of Goa & Shri Arun Srivastava, Deputy Director General, Ministry of Tourism, GOI.

* A strong participation from India at Arabian Travel Mart 2023 Dubai, consisting of more than 65 State Tourism Departments/UTs, Tour Operators, Travel Agents, Hotel Chains, Airlines etc. is expected to boost inbound travel to India from the Middle East region. ATM provides a much needed opportunity for Indian Tourism industry stakeholders to connect with global travel trade and promote India...

Source : PIB

Published On : May 4, 2023
Laxman Narasimhan
Ajay Banga
Arvind Krishna
Shantanu Narayen

Correct Answer : Option (B) - Ajay Banga

The World Bank's 25-member executive board on Wednesday (3rd May 2023) elected former Mastercard CEO "Ajay Banga" to a five-year term as president, effective 2nd June 2023, ushering in an Indian-born finance and development expert charged with revamping the lender to tackle climate change and other global crises.

Banga, 63, was nominated for the post by US President Joe Biden in late February and was the sole contender to replace departing World Bank chief David Malpass, an economist and former US Treasury official during the Trump administration.

The election came after World Bank board members interviewed Banga for four hours on Monday (1st May 2023). Malpass's last day at the bank will be June 1. The decision came in a vote by 24 of the board's members, with Russia abstaining, instead of the usual consensus-based process, a source familiar with the process said.

One of the sources called Banga a "true change maker" who will help accelerate reforms at the global development bank. It already loans out hundreds of billions of dollars to developing countries but is working to increase its lending to help them address global challenges such as climate change.

The Board looks forward to working with Mr. Banga on the World Bank Group Evolution process, as discussed at the April 2023 Spring Meetings, and on all the World Bank Group’s ambitions and efforts aimed at tackling the toughest development challenges facing developing countries..

Source : India Today

Published On : May 4, 2023
1st May
2nd May
3rd May
4th May

Correct Answer : Option (C) - 3rd May

World Press Freedom Day is observed each year on May 03. The day symbolizes the importance of press freedom and its role in the smooth and effective functioning of society.

* The growth of digital technologies and independent media in several countries has facilitated the unrestricted dissemination of information. Nonetheless, media freedom, the safety of journalists, and freedom of expression are facing threats, leading to an adverse impact on basic human rights.

* This day serves as an opportunity to address the global issues concerning the media including their freedom and accessibility, and acknowledge the contribution of journalists who lost their lives in this profession.

* The press is a critical component of the democratic setup of a country, it highlights and advocates the importance of human rights, good governance, and democracy.

World Press Freedom Day theme 2023 : The theme for World Press Freedom Day this year is "Shaping a Future of Rights: Freedom of Expression as a driver for all other human rights".

World Press Freedom Day History : World Press Freedom Day 2023 marks the 30th anniversary of this day. It was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in December 1993 after the recommendation of UNESCO's General Conference. Since then, May 03 is being celebrated as World Press Freedom Day.

World Press Freedom Day Significance : The press plays an important role in any democracy. It highlights the issues concerning the general public and works in the direction of the betterment of society. Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right. Everyone should have the right to freedom of opinion and expression. The World Press Freedom Day denounces censorship of the press and journalists. It stresses the need for an independent media to safeguard democracy.

The press serves as a medium of information through which the general public gets access to facts that help them make informed decisions about their lives and the government. With the expansion of digital media, the flow of misinformation has raised new challenges. The role of the press becomes more significant today, than ever before..

Source : Times of India

Published On : May 3, 2023
30th April 2023
1st May 2023
2nd May 2023
3rd May 2023

Correct Answer : Option (D) - 3rd May 2023

Tamil film industry veteran actor-director Manobala breathed his last on 3rd May 2023 in Chennai. He was taking treatment at his residence for liver-related problems for the past two weeks.

* He was known for his comedy timing and self-deprecating humour. In his career spanning over 35 years, he acted in over 900 films. He is survived by wife, Usha, and son, Harish.

Manobala Career :

* Manobala made his acting debut in 1979 with Bharathiraja's Puthiya Vaarpugal. Over the years, he acted in several hundred films in supporting roles. Reportedly, he joined as an assistant director to Bharathiraja under Kamal Haasan's reference. His last on-screen appearance was in Kajal Aggarwal's Ghosty. The talented star was known for his comedy roles.

* In 1982, he made his directorial debut with Agaya Gangai and helmed nearly 25 films. Some of his popular films include Pillai Nila, Oorkaavalan, En Purusshanthaan Enakku Mattumthaan, Karuppu Vellai, Mallu Vetti Minor and Paarambariyam, to name a few.

* Apart from appearing in serials, he also directed a handful of television serials. He also made his name in the industry as a producer. He appeared as one of the contestants on Cooku With Comali in 2022.

Born : 8 December 1953, Marungoor.
Died : 3 May 2023, Chennai.

Source : India Today

Published On : May 3, 2023

Correct Answer : Option (A) - Millets

The  Ministry of Home Affairs announced on Wednesday (3rd May 2023) that millets would be included in the meals of personnel of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).

* "The decision to introduce 30 per cent millets in the meals has been taken on the clarion call of the Union Home Minister Amit Shah, after detailed discussion with all the forces".

* The United Nations General Assembly, recognising the growing importance of millets, declared 2023-24 as the International Year of Millets.

* Millets are also called "super grain" due to it being rich in proteins, carbohydrates and fibre.

* In March, the Indian Army said it would make millets an integral part of the daily meals of all its personnel. Millets flour will now be included in the rations of soldiers, almost half a century after these were discontinued in favour of the wheat flour.

* The Army said the decision was taken to ensure that troops were supplied with native and traditional grains.

* The Army will procure millets flour not exceeding 25 per cent of the authorised entitlement of cereals (rice and wheat atta) in rations for troops commencing from the year 2023-24. Three popular varieties of millets flour -- Bajra, Jowar and Ragi -- will be issued to troops...

Source : ABP Live

Published On : May 3, 2023
Neiphiu Rio
Pema Khandu
Prem Singh Tamang
N Biren Singh

Correct Answer : Option (D) - N Biren Singh

Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh Tuesday (2nd May 2023) launched the Facial Recognition System (FRS) for Inner Line Permit (ILP) system and flagged off two camera-mounted mobile FRS vehicles.

* Singh, while speaking during the event, said the newly-launched system will help in the effective checking of ILP holders whose validity has expired and in better management of the system.

* After seeking approval from the Union Home Ministry, engaged a reputed international firm for the installation of the FRS.

* The system has been implemented on a trial basis for some time now, he said, adding that even during the trial period, the system had managed to identify defaulters of the ILPS.

* Singh said the FRS system has been installed at various places, including at the Imphal airport, Jiribam, and efforts are on to install it at other places, including Khongsang Railway Station and Moreh among others.

* In addition, two mobile vehicles will be stationed at different locations in Imphal East and West districts to identify ILP defaulters, Singh said, adding that in the long run, the FRS will facilitate a smoother entry and exit system for permit applicants or holders from the state..

Source : Indian Express

Published On : May 3, 2023